We’ve had such a dream… well, maybe better said, we long ago had such a dream. A dream that was actually a plan. I never noticed that because so much time had passed and that dream never materialized, I’d stopped dreaming about it and I’d even quit hoping it would happen.
In fact, until recently, I hadn’t even realized that I’d sort of stopped dreaming about most anything future. Not to sound morbid or even depressed, but I had just sort of stopped thinking: long — long as in long-term. Not necessarily hopeless or negative — my failing to think long term had just become sort of routine.
Then it struck me that I’ve not stopped thinking long term for our family, meaning our children, rather I’d simply rarely thought long term about my own life or the life of my husband and our long term goals/future.
This realization came about when I was recently filling out a weekly goals chart. [As an aside: my husband has us all filling out weekly on a printed sheet: our goals, schedules/routines. At the bottom of the monthly sheet, there’s a space for tracking 90 day goals and ‘year end’ goals. This has been extremely helpful to give us a visual record of how we’re spending our time — in addition, it’s been helpful not only for keeping all of us on track, but also to keep aware of what’s going on with each family member and all the various schedules.]
What made me realize I’d largely stopped dreaming or long term planning was the content of my “goals” for each category. They were so… hmmm, so blasé, so nothing — so trivial — not really goals at all. They were simply logical or probably results of still existing or still being alive at the 90 day mark or the year-end point. But as far as intentional and new accomplishments, I hadn’t been recording anything that would require new skills, new plans, new effort, intention or: dreaming!
When this stark reality hit me, I marvelled: when did I stop looking ahead? When did I stop planning ahead — I mean really planning ahead? When did I stop living long — thinking long term? ‘Scared me to realize I’ve just been sort of treading water — doing the needful things each day, fulfilling the tasks of the day — covering the basics with sort of a ‘check-box’ mentality. And then, the sobering reality washed over me when I realized I’d stopped dreaming.
This sort of introspection inspired me to look — really look — at the faces around our table and consider the lives the Lord has given me to nurture. Was I seeing them — I mean, really seeing them? Was I seeing my husband — really seeing him? And then I had to stop and ask: Lord, am I seeing You? Am I really seeking You, Lord — truly seeking You?
Acts 2.17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…”
I’ve been asking the Lord to give me a new hope, a new vision, a new: want to! Not content with status quo — to not be content with lesser things — and to not assume my time here is short or unimportant.
Well, as the Lord would have it… He was working this discontent in me to show me my thoughts, to reveal these shortcomings. And, further, what I didn’t know was that a plan was in the works… and along with that, He was, and is, once again showing me that He cares too much to leave me where I was/am and wants me to not only be done with lesser things, but to trust Him, to obey Him, to let Him lead — that my fruitful days are not over, that my remaining years are not insignificant. Then, to think long, to live intentionally… and to dream.
And so, with my husband… I’m beginning to dream. I’ll tell you more later about God’s great provision in the midst of this new start. It starts with an old dream.